This month, our bride is starting to feel the pressure…
In everyday life we’re faced with pressures – the stress of meeting work deadlines, or raising children while having a full-time job. It doesn’t matter what your circumstance, I’m sure everyone has challenges and obstacles to overcome. But, when it comes to weddings, or more specifically, being a bride, the pressure seems to escalate to an insurmountable measure.
As I’ve mentioned in previous ramblings, there are the issues surrounding the name change, the dress and the guest list to contend with, as well as sorting out the logistics of the entire day. But, for the bride specifically there seems to be a whole other level of expectation, especially when it comes to appearance.
How you look and feel on the biggest day of your life is important, but speaking to some people, you’d think that the vows and celebration of love pale insignificance compared to what the bride’s face/body/hair looks like. Magazines, blogs and websites are filled with advice on looking your best, but do we really need to start a bizarre beauty regime or extreme diet 18 months before the wedding? If you want to lose weight or change your hair colour then fine, but you shouldn’t be expected to just because you’re a bride.
Early on in the planning stages, I visited a wedding fair and was shocked to discover that in my ‘bridal goody bag’ was a sample of a weight loss supplement. And, in one of the dress shops I went to, I was asked whether I was planning to lose weight before the big day. Naturally, I want to look good, but I don’t agree with the notion that we should have to halve our body weight to squeeze into a dress three sizes smaller than usual and be miserable for months. A friend of mine who got married last year lost a considerable amount of weight to get into her dream dress, and a year on she still barely eats anything because she’s scared she’ll go back to her pre-wedding weight.
And it’s not just diets that are expected – teeth whitening, beauty treatments and even surgery in some cases are the norm. It was recently suggested to me that I ‘might like to consider Botox, so that I look good in my wedding pictures.’ Although I haven’t dabbled, I took those comments to heart, and will now be extra self-conscious as I walk down the aisle and pose for pictures – as if I wasn’t already concerned enough.
Of course, I understand wanting to look your best – I’m only too aware of how many pictures will be taken on the day so I’ve been trying to take better care of my skin and up my gym routine, but I do find it a little offensive when people ask me what I’ll be doing to look better on the day. You wouldn’t say to them “are you planning on losing weight for your holiday?” so why is it acceptable for them to suggest the same, just because it’s a wedding?
Meanwhile, the groom has none of these stresses. While I’ve been having nightmares about covering up my frown lines with 65 layers of foundation, my fiancés biggest concern is to what millimetre he should trim his beard on the day. I wonder if I’ve got time to grow a beard to cover up those lines?
Next month, find out why our bride is wishing she hadn’t cut corners…